Tag Archives: Extreme Couponing

A look at the fascinating world of “extreme couponing”

On an almost daily basis we are all inundated with coupons – 10 per cent off this, that, and the other – that we sometimes remember to use. But there’s a group of people out there who take part in “extreme couponing,” a gang that seem to have the discipline to make maximum use of this everyday savings tool.

An article in the Globe and Mail describes the world of extreme couponing as “a no-holds-barred pursuit of savings that has earned itself a weekly TV series and countless obsessive Internet followers who strive to maximize their savings at the checkout by spotting the best sales and by hoarding coupons.”

It takes work, the article notes. In the piece, a woman called Aimee Geroux, who has her own blog called Extreme Couponing Mom, says she has walked out of stores with $300 worth of goods that cost her $20 of her own money.  She tells the Globe that she totes a binder full of coupons when she goes shopping, but also employs “price matching.” That’s when stores match the sale price from other stores – you get a lower price if you can show the flyer, the article notes. Another trick is the “scanning code of practice,” the article says. If the item’s price on the shelf is more than the scanner says, you can get it for much less, even free, the article notes.

If you don’t feel like cutting coupons out of flyers and newspapers, there are online sites that can save you a lot of trouble. The Balance Every Day blog lists 11 Canadian sites that give you access to savings coupons and other deals.

If you like shopping online, going through the E-bates portal first gives you automatic discounts that are mailed to you by cheque every couple of months.

Like everything else that’s good for you – exercise, proper eating, and balancing the budget – extreme couponing requires commitment. Sue Neal of Investors Group recommends putting all your savings in a fund, the Globe article notes. “Now you can really see the savings you’re making,” Neal said. “It could actually get you more excited about using the coupons.”

It’s also a great way to save some money for retirement. Maybe some of your coupon coinage can be directed to your Saskatchewan Pension Plan account – visit SPP to find out how.

Written by Martin Biefer
Martin Biefer is Senior Pension Writer at Avery & Kerr Communications in Nepean, Ontario. After a 35-year career as a reporter, editor and pension communicator, Martin is enjoying life as a freelance writer. He’s a mediocre golfer, hopeful darts player and beginner line dancer who enjoys classic rock and sports, especially football. He and his wife Laura live with their Sheltie, Duncan, and their cat, Toobins. You can follow him on Twitter – his handle is @AveryKerr22

Coupon websites that can save you money

By Sheryl Smolkin

SHUTTERSTOCK
SHUTTERSTOCK

I must confess that at least once or twice when looking for something to distract me on the treadmill at the gym, I’ve watched Extreme Couponing and felt a little guilty. I can’t imagine spending hours every day looking for coupons, plotting my shopping strategy and stockpiling items I may never use. But it seems sinful somehow to pass up obvious bargains.

While the best source of coupons used to be newspapers and grocery store fliers, a big chunk of the business has gone online. In many cases coupons can also be downloaded to your mobile device. So I did some internet research to find the best Canadian coupon websites for those of you who are interested in taking advantage of these deals.

On yummymummyclub.ca, Sarah Deveau rates the following as the top five coupon sites in Canada and provides explanations for what you can expect to find.

Save.ca

The site offers coupons for baby formula, pet food, juice and plenty more. The selection changes frequently and they do impose limits on how many coupons you can request per household. Check out their sister site flyerland.ca for flyer deals, coupons, contests and more.

brandsaver.ca

This Procter & Gamble website offers coupons for their best-selling products, from laundry detergent to toothpaste and nearly everything in between. They also offer free samples. Check back often as supplies are limited and featured products change frequently.

Groceryalerts.ca

This is primarily a grocery coupon and grocery deals site, but shoppers can also read articles on how to shrink their grocery bill using coupons and sales, find recipes and check out product reviews. All coupons and policies are verified prior to being posted by Canadian founders Steven and Lina Zussino. Follow them on Facebook for breaking deals and limited quality sample giveaways.

smartcanucks.ca

On one of the top coupon sites for Canadians, users can not only print coupons directly from this website, but they can also trade coupons with others across the country. You can register for the forums and find out where the best sales and deals are at every major retailer in the country.

entertainment.com

The Entertainment Book has a 50 year history providing coupons for thousands of businesses in 145 cities across North America. So you can’t go wrong by picking up your Saskatchewan copy, as well as a copy for any cities you plan on visiting during the year. If you miss the school kids selling the book, you can usually buy the current Entertainment book at up to 50% off the regular price a few months into the season (no coupon required!).

However, before you embark on a full-scale campaign to save mega-bucks by couponing, read Part 1 and Part 2 of the Great Coupon experiment, also by Sarah Deveau. She managed to save $20 on diapers that were already on sale at Toys R Us but concluded that it definitely wasn’t worth the time she had put into the project. Furthermore, she says even stacking two or three coupons on one product wasn’t enough to price it lower than its lesser priced, no-name brand cousin.

I’m not a big fan of coupons, but I am reasonably diligent about using my loyalty cards from places where I shop regularly. At Shoppers Drug Mart and Longo’s in Toronto points accumulate with every purchase that can be redeemed for dollars on a future purchase. Sobey’s points are converted to Air Canada points.

Do you use coupon sites or loyalty cards that have saved you a bundle? Share your money saving tips with us at http://wp.me/P1YR2T-JR and your name will be entered in a quarterly draw for a gift card. And remember to put a dollar in the retirement savings jar every time you use one of our money-saving ideas.

Beginning in January we will be mixing things up a bit, and in addition to blogs that discuss ways to save money so you can save more for retirement, we will be interviewing our favourite financial bloggers, reviewing books that will help you better manage your finances and rolling out a monthly Retirement Savings 101 series.

The team at Saskatchewan Pension Plan wishes you a happy, healthy holiday season.